The rumors have swirled this past week about the Detroit Tigers getting in the market for Brian McCann. While the Tigers are open to testing the waters at catcher the price tag and risk that McCann poses are just too much for a team looking to spend their money in a smarter, more efficient way. There’s no question McCann is one of the best catchers in the game and a difference maker when it comes to hitting, but as we have learned from far too many big time catcher deals the risk involved at that position far outweighs any potential benefit — cough, Joe Mauer, cough.
Sure the Tigers don’t feel incredible about their catching position and every time Alex Avila weakly strikes out or takes 50 hits to the head in any given inning catching behind the plate you start to wonder why he is an everyday starter, but when you look around the league you realize that Avila actually is in the top half of catchers currently in the game. While it would be great to improve on that, for McCann’s $100 million price range you could fill so many more important holes that this team currently has. Be it outfield, bullpen or second base this team has a lot more pressing issues that Brian McCann can’t fill. That is why he is not a fit for what the Tigers are trying to do.
Everyone dreams of having a catcher who can pop 30 homers, but there is more to catching than just hitting and few play as well defensively as Alex Avila. The Tigers need to save that money to go after more premium targets. No one can fault them for kicking the tires around, but it is time to accept that you cannot afford the Ferrari and go back to your comfy Prius. There is nothing wrong with a Prius.